Spread Co: Extreme Risk & Trading Survey Results 2015

 
 

Is there a connection between risk takers and stock traders?

Comparisons are often drawn between traders who work in high pressure environments on the stock market and those who take part in ‘extreme risk activities’ such as white Water Rafting, Bungee Jumping or Skiing.

Charles W. Smith, professor of sociology at Queens College, New York undertook a study in 2005 observing stock market traders and white water rafters and found that “they both employ similar skills in dealing with the risks created by the ‘currents’ they confront.” In order to undertake a statistic based analysis of this theory we surveyed the British public on their extreme risk sports and habits and compared it to their interest in trading on the stock market.

The study of 2,000 people on their perception of risk found that 68% of those who have undertaken in extreme risk activities have traded on the stock market, or intend to do so in future. While the majority of the British public (64%) were found to describe themselves as risk takers, only half of those surveyed admitted to going to the ‘extreme’. Men are much more likely to take extreme risks and trade on the stock market, however a significant proportion of women were still found to be extreme risk takers and trade.

Of the men surveyed, 60% had taken part in extreme risk activities compared to only 40% of women. Mountain climbing was the most popular sport among British men, with 14% having tried their hand, while women prefer the slopes with skiing and snowboarding topping the list at 11%.

Shameer Sachdev, Head of Marketing at Spread Co commented on the results:

“It says a lot about the psychology of trading and extreme activities in general that there’s such a big crossover between those who enjoy extreme sports and those who have an interest in the stock market – whether it’s a desire to jump out of a plane to go short on the FTSE 100, it seems the desire to take calculated risks is simply built in to some people.”

The full survey results can be found below:

  

Have you ever take part in any of the following ‘extreme’ risk activities:

% / Number of responses

Tombstoning

4.40% 

88

Mountain Climbing

11.60%

232

Placed a bet of more than £100

9.50%

190

Hang-gliding

4.70%

94

Kayaking

11.05%

221

White-water Rafting

8.10%

162

Swam with sharks

3.35%

67

Driven home after ‘one too many’

10.40%

208

BMXing

4.25%

85

Surfing

7.95%

159

Flown a small plane

7.15%

143

Swam The Channel

1.35%

27

Bobsleighing

1.20%

24

Skiing/Snowboarding

12.60%

252

Put a deposit on an unbuilt property

5.40%

108

Placed a lot of money for a chance to go into space

1.25%

25

Triathlon/Iron Man

1.20%

24

Other

3.20%

64

None – I have never competed in any extreme risk activities – Skips next question

51.25%

1025

Have you ever traded on the stock market?

% / Number of responses

Yes – many times skips the next question

18.46%

180

Yes - once or twice skips the next question

24.00%

234

No

57.54%

561

If no, would you like to?

% / Number of responses

Yes – definitely

6.06%

34

Yes - possibly

39.57%

222

No

32.30%

305

Would you say you were a ‘risk-taker’?

% / Number of responses

Yes – definitely

10.70%

214

Yes - sometimes

49.45%

989

No

39.85%

797

What's the biggest risk you've ever taken? (Answer Examples)

Hitch hiking in foreign countries

Abseiling down a building

Accepted a lift from a complete stranger 

Skiing black runs

Dived off a cliff

Moved to another country on the spur of the moment

Travelled through 'bandit country'

Swimming near crocodiles

Gone on a midnight hike in the peak district

Cave diving 

Climbed up a 200ft wind turbine without a harness

Driven through a small herd of elephant

Snuck backstage at a concert

Stock car racing

Parachuting

Pot-holing

Riding through a tunnel of rainwater on my bike

Sleeping out on the Acropolis

Walked into the jungle without any means of navigation

 
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